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Friday, July 25, 2014

Looking for Something to Do? Free Events July 26 to Aug. 1

Here are events scheduled Saturday, July 26, to Friday, Aug 1.

All events are free, so take a look -- and don't you dare say there's nothing to do in Pasadena!

Have you ever grown a seriously delicious tomato, squash or bean? Master gardener Yvonne Savio will tell you how to save and sow seeds from your best veggies Saturday, July 26, at 10:30 a.m. at Hill Avenue Branch Library.

Assemblyman Chris Holden's annual block party on his street Saturday, July 26, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. will feature live music, children's activities, free hot dogs grilled by Pasadena police officers, community resource tables and much more. 

Activities for Pasadena Public Library's Summer Reading Challenge include the following (and much more!):


The Dive-In Movie Fest at the Robinson Park pool continues Saturday, July 26, at 7 p.m. with "Space Jam" (1996, PG) starring Michael Jordan and Bill Murray. Michael Jordan agrees to help the Looney Toons play a basketball game against aliens from another planet.
The Old Pasadena Film Festival presents "The Pit and the Pendulum" (1961) based on the Edgar Allen Poe tale and starring Vincent Price and John Kerr Saturday, July 26, at 8:30 p.m. at Central Park. A man travels to Spain to learn how his wife died and encounters his insane brother-in-law. Music will begin and food will be available for sale at 7 p.m.

The Four Preps will perform their famous '50s doo-wop songs Saturday, July 26, at 8 p.m. at the Levitt Pavilion in Memorial Park. Bring a picnic or purchase dinner in the park. A pre-concert festival will begin at 6:30 p.m.


The Old Pasadena Film Festival presents "Lover Come Back" (1961) starring Rock Hudson and Doris Day Saturday, July 26, at 8:30 p.m. in Hugus Alley at One Colorado. When an advertising executive steals a client from his rival, she tries to beat him at his own game.


 
In celebration of National Ice Cream month, stop by the courtyard at One Colorado Sunday, July 27, from 2 to 3 p.m. for a free treat.   

The Summer Jazz Concert Series in the Playhouse District continues with the Afrotango Ensemble Sunday, July 27, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the courtyard outside Vroman's Bookstore.  


Pete Escovedo and his group will perform Latin Jazz Sunday, July 27, at 7 p.m. at the Levitt Pavilion in Memorial Park. Bring a picnic or purchase food at the park. A pre-concert festival will begin at 5:30 p.m.


The Old Pasadena Film Festival presents "Gimme Gimme Octopus" (1973 to '74) Sunday, July 27, at 7:30 p.m. at Armory Center for the Arts. This children's TV show featuring live action and special effects aired two years on Japanese TV and each episode is less than three minutes long. Tokora is a red octopus who wants everything he sees. The title in Japanese is "Kure Kure Takora."

The Old Pasadena Film Festival presents the final movie of the season, "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad" (1958), starring Kerwin Mathews and Kathryn Grant Sunday, July 27, at 8:30 p.m. in Central Park. When a princess is shrunk by an evil wizard, Sinbad must undertake a quest to an island of monsters to cure her and prevent a war. Music will begin and food will be available for sale at 7 p.m. 


La Casita del Arroyo, our historic community meeting house designed by Myron Hunt and built in 1932, has been undergoing extensive renovations since February, including restoration of the historic bicycle velodrome wood paneling. The grand reopening is Tuesday, July 29, at 4 p.m. Refreshments will be served.


The Pasadena Summer Youth Chamber Orchestra will perform a classical music program Tuesday, July 29, at 6 p.m. in the Gold Shell at Memorial Park. Bring a picnic or purchase food at the BBQ snack bar.

"Planes" (2013, PG) with the voice talent of Dane Cook and Julia Louis-Dreyfus will be shown Wednesday, July 30, at 1 p.m. in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium at Pasadena Central Library. A cropdusting plane with a fear of heights competes in an aerial race around the world.


La Pintoresca Teen Education Center's Super Hero Film Festival for ages 12 to 18 continues with "Iron Man 2" (2010, PG-13) starring Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow Wednesday, July 30, at 5 p.m. Popcorn will be provided.


Steve Songs will perform music for children (and everyone) Wednesday, July 30, at 7 p.m. at the Levitt Pavilion in Memorial Park. Bring a picnic or purchase food in the park. A pre-concert festival will begin at 5:30 p.m.


Twentieth century crime fiction in California will be discussed by local crime novelists Denise Hamilton, author of Los Angeles Noir and Los Angeles Noir 2; Julie Rivett, editor of Return of the Thin Man; Judith Freeman, author of The Long Embrace: Raymond Chandler and the Woman He Loved; and Tom Nolan, author of Ross Macdonald: A Biography Thursday, July 31, at 6:30 p.m. in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium at Pasadena Central Library.


"Nacho Libre" (2006, PG) starring Jack Black and Ana de la Reguera will be shown Thursday, July 31, at 7:45 p.m. outdoors in the park at Villa-Parke. Berated all his life by those around him, a monk follows his dream and moonlights as a luchador (Mexican wrestler).


Upstream will perform Caribbean music Thursday, July 31, at 8 p.m. at the Levitt Pavilion in Memorial Park. Bring a picnic or purchase food at the park. A pre-concert festival will begin at 6:30 p.m.


"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" (2013, PG-13) starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson will be shown Thursday, July 31, at 8 p.m. outdoors at Paseo Colorado. Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their victory in the 74th Hunger Games sparks a rebellion in the Districts of Panem.


The next supply of garden-ready mulch from Pasadena Public Works Department street tree trimmings will be available Friday, Aug. 1, at the southeast corner of the parking lot at Victory Park. Bring your own shovels, containers and gloves anytime between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Mulch is replenished once a month through October and is available to Pasadena residents only.


Admission to the Pasadena Museum of California Art is free the first Friday of every month from noon to 5 p.m.  On Friday, Aug. 1, see the current exhibitions "June Wayne: Paintings, Prints and Tapestries" and "Time, Space & Matter: Five Installations Exploring Natural Phenomena" as well as everything else the museum has to offer.


The first Friday of every month is free admission night at the Norton Simon Museum. On Friday, Aug. 1, from 5 to 8 p.m. see the current special exhibitions "In the Land of Snow: Buddhist Art in the Himalayas" and "Face It: The Photographic Portrait" as well as everything else the museum has to offer.

The Dive-In Movie Fest at the Villa-Parke Community Center pool continues with "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" (2013, PG) with the voice talent of Neil Patrick Harris and James Caan Friday, Aug. 1, at 8 p.m. Flint Lockwood has to save his town when he learns his most infamous machine is churning out food-animal hybrids.


Dustbowl Revival will perform Americana music Friday, Aug. 1, at 8 p.m. at the Levitt Pavilion in Memorial Park. Bring a picnic or purchase dinner at the park. A pre-concert festival will begin at 6:30 p.m.


Photo credits: Ann Erdman, LA.com, The Wasteland, B Movie Freak, Movie Posters 2013, Cockeyed Caravan, Film.com, Collider, Sky Movies, HD Wallpaper Corner, Steve Songs, Harris Center, The Four Preps, WoodSongs, Altadenablog, Traditional Foods.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mystery History -- Solved!

Daniel wins with his 8:24 p.m. Tuesday guess "Colorado Street Bridge, temporary suicide prevention fence - sometime in the 1930's."

In the Aug. 9, 1937, noir-esque photo above, a man pauses to look through the tall, chain link, suicide prevention fence topped with barbed wire on the Colorado Street Bridge. It was the first such barrier ever installed on the bridge.

Here's the full image:

The cutline (photo caption) in the Los Angeles Herald Tribune includes this sentence: "The new fence will not detract from the span's beauty."  It was almost immediately decried as a eyesore. 

The bridge, constructed in 1913, stands nearly 150 feet tall, spans nearly 1,500 feet across the Arroyo Seco and has been the site of several suicides over the years, earning it the regrettable nickname Suicide Bridge.

The first person to leap to his death was in 1915. The predominance of jumpers -- nearly 100-- took the plunge during the Great Depression between 1929 to 1939. Almost all of the jumpers were from Los Angeles.

These photos show the Colorado Street Bridge before the suicide prevention fence was installed. There was only a chest-high balustrade.

As with all the suicides during the Great Depression, the one just prior to the installation of the ugly fence was a sad and tragic case.

Myrtle Ward and her musician husband lived in the El Sereno district of Los Angeles with their 3-year-old daughter Jeannette. Like so many others, they were out of work and the financial burdens were becoming more crushing with every passing day. Myrtle lost all hope and became despondent.

On the morning of May 1, 1937, 22-year-old Myrtle drove the family car to the east end of the bridge, got out and, holding little Jeannette's hand, went onto the bridge's pedestrian walkway. Myrtle stepped onto a bench in a little alcove at the highest point of the bridge and threw little Jeannette over the side. She then climbed onto the short balustrade and jumped to her death.

Jeannette's fall was broken by a tree branch before she landed on a small spot of soft sand in the Arroyo Seco streambed.

Myrtle died three days later at Huntington Memorial Hospital; Jeannette was hospitalized briefly and was raised by her paternal grandmother.

In 2011 the Pasadena Weekly ran an article about then 77-year-old Jeannette titled Heavenly Helpers."

“God sent his angels down there and saved me. 
There was no other explanation. . .It was not my day to die.”

That very first fencing in the top photo was installed shortly after the May 1 incident.

When the Colorado Street Bridge made its second debut in 1993 after a nearly four-year seismic retrofit and historic restoration project, it included a suicide prevention barrier complementary to the bridge's architecture and surroundings that remains to this day.

In modern times the number of suicides committed at the bridge averages less than two a year. That's still too many, but it's a much better number than the 10 a year during the Great Depression.

Pasadena police officers and chaplains respond to calls at the bridge a few times a year. Ordinarily they are successful in convincing people not to jump.


Many thanks to Los Angeles Public Library, Southern California Daily Photo and Lins Consulting

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mystery History

Where are we? And what's happening?

The first person to guess correctly will win lunch with me -- I'll buy yours and you'll buy mine.

Remember, leave your brief guess as a comment on this blog post but don't try to give the entire back story (that's my job).

I'll have the full scoop on Thursday.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Pssst -- Did You Hear About Ann Erdman?

There are rumors that get back to me from time to time, and ordinarily I just shrug them off.

But the latest one has really gotten under my skin. I'll talk about that one in a minute.

First, an example of one of the many rumors about me that float around:

Shortly after I retired, several people, individually, reached out to me to say they were so sorry to hear what had happened.

OK, I thought. I'll bite.

What happened?
They had all heard -- through the grapevine -- that I had been "encouraged to resign" and had been given my retirement package as a parting gift.

Oh, brother. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

I had experienced a catastrophic medical issue and was on leave for nearly four months. When Dr. Wes Powell released me to return to work on a part-time basis, I knew from day one that I wanted to retire and go live a life after a 38-year career.

I told City Manager Michael Beck right away and stayed for another five months before I retired so there would be plenty of time for the Human Resources Department to recruit for a new PIO before I headed off to my new adventure.

On my penultimate day on the job, Michael had his staff pull out all the stops for a farewell party for me in the courtyard at Pasadena City Hall to which city staff, elected officials and the community were invited. There were a couple of hundred people there, and Michael and my peers on the Executive Leadership Team presented me with a lovely, engraved Tiffany bowl that I treasure to this day.
 
"Encouraged to resign"? Hardly.

Now on to the latest rumor that has caused me to lose sleep:

On Saturday I was told that somebody is going around saying that I told him or her (I don't know which) personally, as in face-to-face, that Mayor Bill Bogaard is not going to run for re-election in 2015. 

I worked every day with Mayor Bogaard for nearly 14 years. We respect each other greatly and still keep in touch regularly.

But here's the thing -- well, two.

First, Mayor Bogaard hasn't said a thing to me about whether he is going to run for re-election or not, so I have no idea what his plan might be.

And second, when he wants to go public with his decision, it will be his to announce.

So whoever you are out there, making up yet another story about me: Shame on you.  

Any questions?


Photo credits: Quote Frenzy, Movie Star Makeover, the mighty Zack Stromberg, Tablet, Pix by Tweens, Soda Head

Friday, July 18, 2014

Looking for Something to Do? Free Events July 19 to 25


Here are events scheduled Saturday, July 19, to Friday, July 25.

All events are free, so take a look -- and don't you dare say there's nothing to do in Pasadena!  

The Dive-In Movie Fest at the Robinson Park pool continues Saturday, July 19, at 7 p.m. with "The Croods" (2013, PG) featuring the voice talents of Nicholas Cage and Emma Stone. After their cave is destroyed, a family must trek through an unfamiliar fantastical world with the help of an inventive boy.

Jimmy LaFave will perform Americana music Saturday, July 19, at 8 p.m. at the Levitt Pavilion in Memorial Park. Bring a picnic or purchase dinner at the park. A pre-concert festival will begin at 6:30 p.m.
 
The Old Pasadena Film Festival presents "The Fly" (1958) starring David Hedison and Vincent Price Saturday, July 19, at 8:30 p.m. at Central Park. A scientist has a horrific accident when he tries to use his newly invented teleportation device! Music will begin and food will be available for sale at 7 p.m.

The Old Pasadena Film Festival presents "Suddenly, Last Summer" (1959) based on the Tennessee Williams play and starring Elizabeth Taylor, Katherine Hepburn and Montgomery Clift Saturday, July 19, at 8:30 p.m. in Hugus Alley at One Colorado. A young woman sees something so horrible that her aunt plots to have her lobotomized to suppress the potentially sordid truth.


The Armenian Identity Festival Sunday, July 20, from noon to 7 p.m. at Victory Park will include live music, dance performances, art, food booths, car show, petting zoo and more. 

Rachel Robinson, widow of baseball great Jackie Robinson, will be inducted into the Baseball Reliquary's Shrine of the Eternals Sunday, July 20, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium at Pasadena Central Library. Delano Robinson, widow of Jackie's brother Mack Robinson, will be there on Rachel Robinson's behalf.

The Summer Jazz Concert Series in the Playhouse District continues with The A Section Sunday, July 20, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the courtyard outside Vroman's Bookstore

Open Hands will perform jazz Sunday, July 20, at 7 p.m. at the Levitt Pavilion in Memorial Park. Bring a picnic or purchase dinner at the park. A pre-concert festival will begin at 5:30 p.m.

The Old Pasadena Film Festival presents "Guest of Cindy Sherman" (2008) Sunday, July 20, at 7:30 p.m. at Armory Center for the Arts. The documentary examines art-scene commentator Paul Hasegawa-Overacker's relationship with enigmatic photographer Cindy Sherman. 

Due to an electrical issue, the Old Pasadena Film Festival was unable to screen "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" (1987, PG) on July 5. It has been rescheduled for Sunday, July 20, at 8:30 p.m. at Central Park. This spoof of B movies is widely heralded as one of the best bad movies ever made. Scientists band together to save the world from mutated tomatoes that kill! Music will begin and food will be available for purchase at 7 p.m.

Activities for Pasadena Public Library's Summer Reading Challenge include the following (and much more!):
The Whiskey Mountain Boys will perform classic bluegrass music Tuesday, July 22, from 6 to 7 p.m. in the bandshell at Memorial Park. Bring a picnic or purchase dinner at the BBQ shack. 


Pianist Junko Ueno Garrett will perform Wednesday, July 23, from 12:10 to 12:40 p.m. for the popular Music at Noon recital series. Bring a sack lunch and chat with other concert-goers after the performance.

The Super Hero Film Festival for ages 12 to 18 at La Pintoresca Teen Education Center continues Wednesday, July 23, at 5 p.m with "Thor" (2011, PG-13) starring Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman. The powerful but arrogant god Thor is cast out of Asgard to live among humans in Midgard (Earth) where he soon becomes one of their finest defenders. Popcorn and refreshments will be provided.

Kiddle Karoo will perform rock for children (and everyone) Wednesday, July 23, at 7 p.m. at the Levitt Pavilion in Memorial Park. Bring a picnic or purchase dinner at the park. A pre-concert festival will begin at 5:30 p.m.

"Bungalow Heaven: Preserving a Neighborhood" will be shown Thursday, July 24, at 7 p.m. in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium at Pasadena Central Library. The documentary follows the hard-fought struggle for Bungalow Heaven in Pasadena to become the first neighborhood in the U.S. to be designated a historic landmark district. A discussion with Q&A will follow the screening.

The Old Pasadena Film Festival presents "Bidder 70" (2012) Thursday, July 24, at 7 p.m. in the Scott Pavilion at Pasadena Senior Center. The documentary examines Tim DeChristopher who, in an act of civil disobedience, derailed a Bureau of Land Management auction of oil and gas leases for public lands in Utah's red rock country. 
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"Turbo" (2013, PG) with the voice talents of Ryan Reynolds and Paul Giamatti will be shown Thursday, July 24, at 7:45 p.m. outdoors in the park at Villa-Parke. A freak accident might just help an everyday garden snail achieve his biggest dream: winning the Indy 500.

Richárd Bernard's Oy!Stars will perform lively Klezmer music Thursday, July 24, at 8 p.m. at the Levitt Pavilion in Memorial Park. Bring a picnic or purchase dinner at the park. A pre-concert festival will begin at 6:30 p.m.

"Iron Man 3" (2013, PG-13) will be shown Thursday, July 24, at 8 p.m. outdoors at Paseo Colorado. When Tony Stark's world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution.
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"Mr. Peabody and Sherman" (2014, PG) with the voice talents of Ty Burrell and Max Charles will be shown Friday, July 25, at 7:45 p.m. outdoors at Robinson Park. An advanced canine and his adopted son travel through time as they endeavor to fix a time rift they created.

"It Happened One Night" (1934) starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert will be shown Friday, July 25, at 7:45 p.m. outdoors at Victory Park. A spoiled heiress running away from her family is helped by a reporter looking for a story. 
The Old Pasadena Film Festival presents "The Art of Travel" (2008, R) Friday, July 25, at 8 p.m. at Distant Lands. When a young man leaves his cheating bride-to-be at the altar, he goes on his Central American honeymoon solo, finding adventure with a ragtag group of people who attempt to cross the Darien Gap in record time.

David Lindley will perform Americana music Friday, July 25, at 8 p.m. at the Levitt Pavilion in Memorial Park. Bring a picnic or purchase dinner at the park. A pre-concert festival will begin at 6:30 p.m.  
The Dive-In Movie Fest at the Villa-Parke Community Center pool continues with "Epic" (2013, PG) featuring the voice talents of Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson and Beyoncé Knowles Friday, July 25, at 8 p.m. A teenager finds herself transported to a deep forest where she joins a interesting group of characters battling the forces of evil to help save their world.

The Old Pasadena Film Festival presents "Life is Beautiful" (1997, PG-13) starring Roberto Benigni and Nicoletta Braschi Friday, July 25, at 8:30 p.m. in Hugus Alley at One Colorado. A Jewish man has a wonderful romance with the help of his sense of humor but later must use that humor to protect his son in a Nazi death camp.

SAVE THE DATE!

For years Pasadena City Councilman Chris Holden's annual block party was the place to be every summer. Now California Assemblyman Chris Holden is continuing the tradition Saturday, July 26, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 




Photo credits: Il Giorno de gli Zombi,  AGBU Blog, Seour Picz, Listal, Artists on Art, Sacramento River Preservation Trust, Cecchi Gori Group, Cine Vue, Brian Dorf, Film School Rejects, HD Wallpapers, Walls Pic, Movie Classics, Comics Grinder, NDTV Gadgets, Anti-Film School, Super Hero Fanatic, Whiskey Mountain Boys, Jimmy LaFave, Kiddle Karoo, Gig Masters, James Stout, Los Angeles Times, Japan America Society of Southern California, Ann Erdman